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Christian Horner of Red Bull Racing on collaboration between Honda and Aston

Horner on continuing with Honda: 'There were too many compromises'

31 May at 06:00
Last update 31 May at 08:58

Don't say it wasn't tried. Red Bull Racing and Honda have talked many times about continuing their successful partnership, but eventually the split came. From 2026, the Japanese will enter into a new marriage with Aston Martin, that much became clear last week. Christian Horner, Red Bull's team boss, is more than at peace with it.

Horner summed it up once again: originally, Honda had intended to exit Formula 1 completely at the end of '22. Eventually, Horner and Red Bull managed to convince the Japanese to continue supplying engines to Red Bull until the end of 2025, albeit not with a Honda branding. In the meantime, the high-ups at Honda headquarters slowly backtracked on their decision to kiss F1 goodbye.

Horner foresaw too many compromises

"We then had discussions in the autumn and heading into the winter of last year, about, you know, was there potentially any link-up regarding the electrification, because combustion was still something that they were not keen to continue with then. But, to be honest with you, there were too many compromises, probably on both sides, that would be needed to be made to enable that to happen. So that's when we decided to take up the option with Ford and make our commitment."

The marriage between Red Bull and Honda has always gone according to plan, as both parties have revealed on several occasions. Soon, it will be up to Aston Marin to work with the Japanese. "Honda are a great partner to have, I'm sure that the team at Silverstone will enjoy working with them. But again, that's still two-and-a-half years away."

So from 2026, two different car brands will work together. On paper, that sounds remarkable: Aston Martin-Honda. Horner does not foresee any problems: "So obviously, I think they found a way of overcoming whatever differences they have as automotive manufacturers and I think for Formula 1 it’s positive that the Honda brand remains in the sport."